Cycling to a bus station should be safe and easy. And even if you don’t cycle to it, cycling past it should be safe and easy.
Particularly when it’s a brand new bus station upgrade, such as the one planned for the Mangere Town Centre on Bader Drive, in the heart of Mangere, between the shopping centre (shops, plus library and a major arts centre) and a very popular park.
And doesn’t this apply twice as much if the bus station is right smack-dab in the middle of one of Auckland Transport’s flagship walking and cycling projects – Te Ara Mua, in Mangere Central? Surely that’s the place where you would spend a bit more attention, and, yes, funds, to do it right and with quality? Especially with more and more locals taking to bikes, thanks to initiatives like Teau Aiturau‘s Mangere BikeFIT and the inspiring USO ride?
So we are rather disappointed that the consultation plans show the proposed cycle lanes in both directions as unprotected, simple painted lanes – like the current lanes which hardly get used. Right in front of and in between cars and buses.
And this disappointing ‘like for like’ reinstatement of the existing painted lanes is literally only 100m away from where Te Ara Mua adds protected cycle lanes to Mascot Drive, as part of a wider project to inspire more people to walk and bike around their neighbourhood!
Given that the physical infrastructure of the new Frequent Bus Network for Auckland is being implemented with very limited funding – one person in the know described it to us as ‘on the fumes of an oily rag’ – it’s not surprising that other aspects of the designs might not rank as highly as they could.
But safe cycling conditions aren’t a trade-off. They are necessary.
We call on AT to lift their game here:
- Ensure the westbound cycle lane is a protected cycle lane along the divider island (or a bypass behind the whole bus station)
- If #1 is NOT provided as a bypass, ensure that where westbound cyclists cross the entries and exits of the bus station, they are safe (i.e. control bus speeds!)
- Design the eastbound cycle lane to bypass the bus stop as a protected lane behind the buses, not in front as shown
Demand more quality. It’s the only way we’ll get the standards to improve.